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Deadline Approaches for Postgraduate Scholarships at NUI Galway
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Pictured receiving the first of the Postgraduate Scholarships on offer from NUI Galway for 2012 are Kim Merrifield (left) and Richard Iyede (right) with NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President Nollaig Mac Congáil (centre). Kimberly has been awarded the Scholarship to take up the MA in Community Development, while Richard will start the MApplSc (Enterprise Systems) in September of this year. NUI Galway announced details of the new scholarships scheme for postgraduate students for 2012 following cuts to maintenance grants for postgraduate students in Budget 2011. In total, 100 new scholarships will be awarded at €2,000 per student before the start of the new academic year. Deadline for scholarship applications is Friday, 10 August. The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme due to commence in autumn 2012. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University. Details of the new Postgraduate Scholarships include: 100 scholarships at €2,000 per student For students who have been accepted on to full-time Taught Masters programmes in 2012/13 Who have a First Class Honours undergraduate degree And who were in receipt of a Local Authority Higher Education Grant for their undergraduate degree For more information on postgraduate programmes and the scholarships scheme visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships or phone 091 492844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org -Ends-
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Award-winning DERI Researcher Looks at How Decisions are Made on Wikipedia
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
A study of the decision making processes fuelling changes to Wikipedia is underway at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway. With almost four million articles, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous Internet volunteers and is the sixth most visited site on the web today. DERI-based PhD researcher Jodi Schneider is investigating the decision factors and arguments used in the often-complex debates around article deletion. In recognition of this research, the New Jersey native has been awarded the prestigious Zipf fellowship with an accompanying cash award of $10,000. Sponsored by the US Council on Library and Information Resources, the award is given annually to acknowledge one outstanding postgraduate student who shows exceptional promise for leadership and technical achievement in information management. Jodi Schneider explains her work: “Under the calm exterior of the Wikipedia website lies a seething hive of activity where an average of 7,000 articles are deleted on a weekly basis. Deleting articles is beneficial as it helps to remove biased, irrelevant, and factually incorrect content from an encyclopedia where anyone can write anything. Significantly, around 500 of these deletions require community discussion. What interests me is how are these decisions made, and who makes them?” Schneider’s work will support Wikipedia editors in determining what content belongs on the site. Her research proposes the streamlining of 70% of debates on article deletion based on based on four factors: Notability, Sources, Maintenance, and Bias. According to Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI at NUI Galway: “The focus of our research here at DERI is on networking the vast amounts of data and knowledge which exist in the online world, making it more accessible and understandable. Jodi’s work is a great example - Jodi is investigating the different ways how people argue online to achieve a consensus, enabling us to understand how people resolve arguments online. The Zipf fellowship and her work with Wikipedia are testament to her promising research.” DERI is one of the leading international web science research institutes interlinking technologies, information and people to advance business and benefit society. Established in 2003 with funding from the Science Foundation Ireland, it is home to over 140 researchers, including 43 PhD students. -ends- ENDS
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NUI Galway Law Lecturers Appointed to Law Reform Commission
Thursday, 26 July 2012
NUI Galway law lecturer Tom O’Malley has been appointed by the Government to the Law Reform Commission. Donncha O Connell, also lecturer in law at the University, has been reappointed to the Commission. The Law Reform Commission is an independent, statutory body established under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975. Its purpose is to keep the law under review and to make recommendations for law reform in keeping with the changing nature of Irish society. Its scope was expanded in 2006 to include new projects on statute law restatement and the legislation directory. Tom O'Malley is a Senior Lecturer in Law and a practising barrister specialising in judicial review. He holds three first-class honours degrees from NUI Galway as well as the LL.M. degree from Yale University. He was a graduate fellow at Yale Law School in 1986-1987 and since then has taught at NUI Galway. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology in 1992-1993 and earlier this year was Visiting Professor of Criminology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He has taught many different law subjects to degree level over the past 25 years including Constitutional Law, Contract, Land Law, Equity, Criminal Law, Criminology, Administrative Law and Evidence. He currently offers two courses on the LL.M. (Public Law) programme, one on sentencing and penal policy and the other on criminal process. His main research interests are in the area of criminal law and criminal justice and he is the author of leading Irish treatises on sex offences, sentencing and criminal procedure. He has served on several committees and working groups at national and international level and is at present a member of the Steering Committee for the Irish Sentencing Information System. O’Connell was the Dean of Law at NUI Galway from 2005-2008 and he continues to teach European Human Rights and Constitutional Law in the School of Law as well as teaching postgraduate students in Processes of Law Reform and Advocacy, Activism & Public Interest Law. He has extensive experience on European human rights bodies having served as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the EU Commission in 2002 and as the senior Irish member of FRALEX, the legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna. He spent the academic year 2009-2010 as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights LSE and is the editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review published by Clarus Press. Donncha was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) from 1999-2002 and he has, in the past, been a board member of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd and Amnesty International-Ireland. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the London-based NGO, INTERIGHTS – The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Rights. He is also a member of the Legal Aid Board.
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NUI Galway Student and Alumnus Compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Thursday, 26 July 2012
London today welcomed the world to the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Among the 2,000 athletes competing in 47 events are NUI Galway student and alumnus, Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane. Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, commented: “We are delighted and honored to have students and alumni of NUI Galway representing Ireland on the world stage at the 2012 Olympic Games. Paul and Olive are world-class athletes of outstanding talent and are excellent representatives of the current generation of Irish sporting stars. On behalf of the University, I would like to wish them both the very best of luck and every success in London”. Paul Hession, Ireland’s fastest man is from Athenry and is a medicine student at NUI Galway. Twice a World Student Games medallist, Paul was awarded an NUI Galway Sports Scholarship for Athletics in 2000. Paul received the NUI Galway Sports Awards for Athletics four years in a row from 2002 – 2005. At the Beijing Olympics, he narrowly missed out on a final place in the 200 metres and in 2010 made Irish athletics history as the first Irishman to make a 200m European sprint final. In early July he won the Irish 100m title and followed this with an excellent 20.54 for 200m in Lucerne - the fastest time by an Irishman this year. Olive Loughnane is from Loughrea, Co. Galway and is a graduate of NUI Galway. Olive represented NUI Galway Athletic Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. She also represented the Irish universities on numerous occasions and was a member of the National Race Walking Squad. She became the first female Irish Walker to win a senior title at the British AAA’s Championship in Birmingham. A silver medal at the World Championship in 2009 and winning one of the rounds of the World Race Walking Challenge in 2011, Olive qualified for the Olympics by finishing first in Slovakia on a time of 1 hour 32 minutes and 40 seconds, a full minute ahead of her nearest rival. Her times have continuously improved over the years and this is her fourth Olympic Games. The London 2012 Olympic Games will commence today (Friday, 27 July) with the opening ceremony and will continue until 12 August, 2012. ENDS
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How to Survive an Ice Age
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Researchers have uncovered how animals in Antarctica managed to survive glacial periods thousands of years ago when sea-ice encroached on their habitats. DNA evidence indicates that sea creatures used a variety of techniques, from surviving in the deep sea, to retreating into pools of unfrozen seawater. Scientists hope that by looking back in time it will help predict the likely impact of global warming on the Southern Ocean. Natural climate cycles have caused massive glaciations on 40,000 and 100,000 year cycles over the past five million years. At times of maximum glaciation, sea-ice extended out into the Southern Ocean blocking sunlight from the surface waters, preventing phytoplankton from photosynthesising and hence cutting the food chain off at its source. Additionally, massive glaciers and ice-sheets extended far out onto the continental shelf, scoring the sea-floor and destroying the habitat of many animals. Biologists have never understood how animals in the seas surrounding Antarctica survived these Pliocene-Pleistocene glacial cycles. Was all the fauna of the Southern Ocean destroyed? Were animals able to seek refuge in the deep sea and recolonise from there? Or did marine animals seek refuge outside of the Southern Ocean and recolonise Antarctica from other Oceans? In a paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, researchers at National University of Ireland Galway and LaTrobe University in Australia provide the answer. Dr Louise Allcock, a zoologist from National University of Ireland Galway’s Ryan Institute, explains. “We found the answer in the DNA of animals that are found in the Southern Ocean today. I’ve been studying Antarctic octopuses for many years and looking at the patterns of variation in their DNA. As I looked at other people's research on other animals, to compare their findings to my own, I noticed that there were some consistent patterns. One of the patterns we saw was that some animals had very limited variation, with large numbers of individuals having exactly the same DNA sequence at a given gene region. This is consistent with a population bottleneck - i.e., a massive reduction in the number of individuals in a short space of time. We can tie this with the survival of a tiny population on the continental shelf during glacial maxima. And, in fact, there's evidence from glaciology and other physical sciences that 'polynyas' - small areas free of sea ice - did persist during glacial maxima.” This wasn’t the only pattern that researchers found however. By examining all the available published research they were able to identify at least four different patterns, each one relating to a different survival and recolonisation strategy. This improved understanding of survival mechanisms and the interpretation of molecular data will help scientists predict the likely impact of global warming on the Southern Ocean. According to Dr Jan Strugnell, of the Department of Genetics, at La Trobe University: “There has been a recent marked increase in the number of studies using DNA to try and better understand the processes that have shaped the evolution of different animal groups that live in the Southern Ocean. By looking at all of these studies together, and taking into account their life history characteristics, we were able to detect patterns which give clues to how animal lineages have survived glacial cycles in the Southern Ocean. The different patterns give signatures for survival in ice free refugia on the continental shelf for some animal lineages and for survival in deep sea refugia in others.” ENDS
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